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Kucherov extends goal streak in Lightning loss to Devils

Right wing scores in seventh straight; Palmieri gets shootout winner for New Jersey

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Nikita Kucherov extended his goal streak to seven games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 5-4 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

Kyle Palmieri scored the only goal in the shootout and had a goal in the first period for the Devils (5-1-0). Drew Stafford scored twice, Brian Gibbons had a goal, Nico Hischier had two assists, and Cory Schneider made 33 saves. Schneider forced Brayden Point to shoot wide before stopping Kucherov and Ryan Callahan in the tiebreaker.

 

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Devils highlights]

 

Kucherov, who has 12 points (eight goals, four assists) this season, is the fourth player in NHL history to score at least one goal in his first seven games of the season. He joins five other players, including Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins, 12 games, 1992-93), Mike Bossy (New York Islanders, 10, 1984-85) and Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers, eight, 1983-84), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Tweet from @PR_NHL: Nikita Kucherov became the sixth player in the NHL's modern era (since 1943-44) to score in each of his team's first seven games. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/p17Eg42hoa

Stafford scored a power-play goal off a one-touch pass from Hischier 15:54 into the third period to tie it 4-4.

"I just got a good pass from [defenseman Damon Severson] and I thought I was just going to one-time it into the middle for a high tip," Hischier said. "It worked."

Video: TBL@NJD: Palmieri delivers with backhand in the SO

Steven Stamkos had a goal and two assists, and Vladislav Namestnikov and Ondrej Palat each scored for the Lightning (5-1-1), who had their four-game winning streak end. Peter Budaj made 30 saves.

"We gave ourselves a chance to win," Tampa Bay forward Ryan Callahan said. "At the end of the day it's a hard-fought point. We ended up not burying on a couple power plays and they did. That's the difference."

Kucherov and Stamkos scored in the second period to give the Lightning a 4-3 lead. Kucherov beat Schneider at 14:02 before Stamkos gave the Lightning their second lead of the game 3:21 later on a backhand inside the left post.

Budaj twice denied Hischier, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, from scoring his first NHL goal. The first was a glove save 17:55 into the second, the next a pad stop 6:48 into the third.

"I think one of the things you look at early in the season is if you're getting scoring chances; if not then that's when you should get worried," Palmieri said. "[Hischier] is getting chances and he's a phenomenal player. He'll find a way to put it in the back of the net. It might not be the prettiest one to get him started, but I think he has to keep playing the way he is."

The Devils took a 3-2 lead in the first period on goals by Stafford, Palmieri and Gibbons. Namestnikov and Palat scored for the Lightning in the first.

"We're all buying into the system we want to play," Palmieri said. "We haven't quite put in that full 60-minute effort the last couple of game; we were on our heels in the second [on Tuesday]. But good teams find a way to respond and our penalty kill stepped up huge and Stafford's goal on the power play was big."

Video: TBL@NJD: Palmieri nets PPG on heavy slapper

 

Goal of the game

Kucherov scored off a slap shot from the top of the left circle that beat Schneider under his glove to tie it 3-3.

Video: TBL@NJD: Kucherov extends goal streak, ties game

 

Save of the game

Budaj, who was making his season debut for the Lightning, stretched to get the tip of his glove on a one-timer by Hischier off a pass from Hall late in the second.

Video: TBL@NJD: Budaj robs Hischier's excellent chance

 

Highlight of the game

Hischier completed his first multi-point game in the NHL when he one-timed a pass to Stafford in the slot on a power play for his second assist.

Video: TBL@NJD: Stafford ties it with his second of the game

 

They said it

"This is 82 games. This team gives you an honest effort; they bring their lunch pail to work every day. It's fun to watch them. There are parts of our game that we can tighten up, no question, but the guys are working at it. I like the trajectory we're going on." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper

 

"I think for [Hischier] to be able to display that battle and tenacity on the puck is the biggest thing that's impressed me for a guy his age (18 years old). The way his body makeup is, he's only going to get better and stronger. His skill set is a given, but I'm more looking at his battle and tenacity, and he has that." -- Devils forward Drew Stafford

 

Video: TBL@NJD: Stafford opens the scoring on slick wrister

 

Need to know

Stamkos had his first three-point game since Nov. 10, 2016 in a 4-1 win against the New York Islanders. The Lightning captain has a seven-game point streak (two goals, 10 assists). ... Hischier logged a season-high 18:21 of ice time and finished 8-of-12 on face-offs. The Devils were 2-for-4 on the power play, and are 8-for-26 with the man-advantage this season (31 percent).

 

What's next

Lightning: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, SUN, NHL.TV)

Devils: At the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, MSG+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Stafford, Devils top Lightning in shootout, 5-4

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